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Managing stress and staying motivated

By Catherine Morgan

If you’re like most people during these turbulent COVID times, you’re probably experiencing higher-than-usual levels of stress. It’s been especially hard to find motivation to work, safely interact with others and it’s even been challenging to stay positive. 

Although it’s been difficult for everyone during this pandemic, small businesses have taken the brunt of the damage, marked by fewer sales and a lack of physical consumer engagement.

While it’s hard to remain positive during these times, it’s not impossible. Feeling personally overwhelmed or stressed can reflect in your business practices. Fortunately, there are a few steps one can take to cope with the changes 2020 has brought.

Stress tip #1. Stay connected

The importance of staying connected with family and friends throughout the pandemic cannot be overstated, but maintaining a relationship with employees and customers is equally crucial. Some of the easiest ways to communicate with stakeholders include: sending weekly emails or monthly newsletters, staying active on social media and updating the company website.

In 2019 alone, the number of global email users was 3.9 billion. It’s been estimated that, by 2023, that number will rise to include half the world’s population, or roughly 4.3 billion people. 

One may say, “That’s a lot of people, but what’s the actual return from sending these emails?” 

Actually, it’s pretty great. 

For every dollar spent on email marketing, one can expect an average of $42 in return. Don’t be afraid to send emails to customers, but don’t bombard them either. Finding that sweet spot can yield the highest returns, but that balance is different for every business.

Social media has been a lifeline for small businesses during quarantine. In late 2019, it was predicted that 75 percent of U.S. businesses use Instagram for advertising. With 500 million people using the “Stories” function on the platform every day, it’s clearly in the best interest of small businesses to take advantage of every seller function the app allows. 
For more help with social media management, including marketing strategies and copywriting, get in touch with our Campaigns Team.

Tip #2. Encourage transparent lines of communication

Those businesses fortunate enough to reopen during the pandemic are no strangers to trepidation. Employees and customers are also feeling extra cautious about shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. 

Therefore, encouraging a line of clear communication between management, employees and customers can help alleviate some of the worries that come with shopping in-person during a pandemic. 

For those still operating remotely but considering reopening in person, remember that everyone – employees and customers – has the same fears. 

Will the business reopen smoothly? What safety precautions will be taken? What can customers expect following reopening? According to SAFER, or Safe Actions for Employee Returns, having a realistic timeline for reopening measures and decision making can alleviate some of those concerns.

Additionally, hosting discussions or town halls for both employees and customers can provide valuable insight for operating a business during these uncertain times. Providing a safe space for open and honest conversation signals dedication to both the  business and customer input.

Tip #3. Focus on what you can control 

With everything going on right now, it seems so much is out of our control – and much of it is. However, focusing on what you can control, like your attitude, your safety and your business can bring a sense of much needed relief to your stress levels. 

As always, taking care of yourself and your needs should come first. The CDC suggests getting enough sleep, having a routine, staying active and practicing mindfulness techniques as a few ways to center your energies on yourself and your business. 

Having a healthy mindset is a critical aspect of successfully running a business. Whether it’s meditating, working out or practicing self-care, understand that a business can only run smoothly if the business owner has the right headspace. 

It’s okay to be cautiously optimistic right now. It’s okay to be uncertain about what the future holds. Stay safe and work hard. This too shall pass.